Residents campaign against council’s plan for 1,750 new homes in Dinas Powys

The deadline to have a say on the plan is February 14 before the development moves into its next phase

RESIDENTS of Dinas Powys have just 24 hours left to object to council plans to build 1,750 houses.

After that, the plans could be officially added to the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Replacement Local Development Plan (RLDP) – an overview which helps shape the area for the next 15 years.

Dinas Powys currently has roughly 4,000 homes, so the plan would represent an almost 45% increase in the size of the town under the RLDP. It would be completed by 2036.

Protect Dinas Powys, a community action group, is unhappy with the proposal and members point to the risk of flooding, an increase in traffic, sewage limitations, primary school capacity, and dangers to wildlife and biodiversity as reasons they are unhappy with the proposal.

We can’t just throw up bricks and walk away.

Samantha Campbell, Vale of Glamorgan Councillor

Residents and farmers in the area are concerned by what they see as a lack of forethought, and the “underhand tactics” they feel the council has used.

“The council has put the area on the plan without the consent of the owners of the land, assuming they will get consent later,” said Laura Hanks, spokesperson for Protect Dinas Powys.

Ms Hanks explained that farmers are already struggling in an industry that is cash poor but asset rich which makes them more likely to take settlement payments on their land.

“No-one wants to be the last man standing, people are saying ‘if they sell, then I’ll sell’. It’s really manipulative,” she said.

A meeting was held by Dinas Community Council and Protect Dinas Powys where issues with the RLDP were raised by residents.

Residents of Dinas Powys raised concerns about the plan at the meeting Credit: Laura Hanks

A key area of concern with the development is the increased flood risk. Built along the Cadoxton River, the town has already dealt with severe floods in recent years, and both the Argae Lane and Eastbrook sites would be partially built on flood plains.

“Obviously if you’ve got concrete instead of fields there will be more run off and more flooding,” said Ms Hanks.

In April last year, new flood defences were announced for 176 homes and five community buildings in Dinas Powys. The Vale of Glamorgan council were reportedly given £1.5 million to implement the defences.

The two orange outlines are rough estimations of where the new developments will be and the blue shading represents areas of flood risk. Taken from Natural Resources Wales

The grey shaded section on the map shows places currently listed as having their risk level “Under Review” by Natural Resources Wales.

Vale of Glamorgan Councillor Samantha Campbell said she objects to the proposed RLDP: “I understand that we have thousands of people on our waiting lists, and we do need more housing, however, we can’t just throw up bricks and walk away,” she said.

Another issue raised by Protect Dinas Powys was traffic. To underline their views, the group points to a Vale of Glamorgan report published in 2019. The report found that key junctions within Dinas Powys were above traffic capacity and were expected to get worse still.

It is estimated that close to 200 acres of green fields, hedgerows and trees could be lost as part of the development, which is also causing concern among residents.

“Part of what makes the Vale of Glamorgan great is that it’s not all built up, and there is actually wildlife here,” said one resident at the community council meeting.

Originally the deadline for objection and discussion was set for the beginning of January, but given the outcry from residents, it has been pushed back to February 14. Protect Dinas Powys hope that with enough objections, they can force the council to reconsider the plans.

However, Ms Hanks wasn’t hopeful: “It’s very difficult to object on the website, like they’ve made it deliberately difficult,” she said. “It feels like discrimination against people who aren’t tech savvy.”

In response, the Vale of Glamorgan Council said: “All interested parties have had a chance to share their views on the RLDP contents through a public consultation exercise and there will be further opportunities to do this before the RLDP is finalised.”